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May 31, 2004

The First Insubstantial Nibbles

Still nothing to report, but I did get a request for rewrite on one story, and word that another is down to the final cut. To which I swallow my hopes and simply wait. Well, not on the rewrite. That I have to go actually, y'know, rewrite.

And as for all you people who've spent their Memorial weekend in some distant land, laughing and drinking and partying and generally enjoying yourselves, I'll have you know I've had just as good a time here. Better, even! And what could be better, you ask? Why, manual labor! Mowing the lawn! Vacuuming! Dusting! Changing litter boxes! Laundry! Recycling! Why, it's more satisfying that...than...

Yeah, I don't believe me either.

Current Reading: Gathering the Bones: A Chilling New Anthology of All-Original Tales of Horror. Or as the editors considered calling it, "Tales of Terror from Three Continents." Waiting patiently to find that story from Antarctica.

May 27, 2004

Hipness

The mail of today makes up for yesterday's absence (boo, hiss) with an 80 day personal rejection from Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet. Has a scrawled signature that possibly says "Link." Or perhaps an extremely mispelled "love." One never knows. At any rate, that's my best with them yet. Perhaps someday I'll be hip. Hopefully before I have to replace one.

Well, it's the start of a four day weekend for me. How will I spend my time? Hard to say. Possibly painting the upstairs hall. Possibly going to see Wrath of the Weather Channel. But if nothing else, I will spend part of it sleeping late. Count on it.

May 26, 2004

Brians!

Via the Particles listing of Making Light, I cannot help but pass along the Zombie Reading of the Will Sketch.

You folks at Wiscon have fun now, hear? I'll just be sitting quietly at home with the shades down in the dark. And why not? It's starting to get hot here.

Current Reading: Ken MacLeod's The Cassini Division.

May 25, 2004

Look Out!

"ACHTUNG!
jonhansen may actually be a spider-human hybrid
Username:
From Go-Quiz.com.

May 23, 2004

Well, Holy Crap

This is a bit surprising: Congress working on legislation to restart the draft in 2005. Here's the text for the House's version (the Senate's is very similar). Highlights include drafting men and women, no college deferments, and no bolting to Canada, thanks to recent homeland security improvements.

I'm trying to picture my sister-in-law getting called up. Brain keeps asking if this is supposed to be a black comedy.

Been spending my weekend cleaning up after a sick cat. I'd like to recommend Fantastik Oxy as fantastic at getting stains out of carpet.

Update: Much more observant eyeballs than mine have pointed out that all the sponsors for these bills were Democrats. So why does my first link, congress.org, blame this on BushCo.? According to the Socialists and the Libertarians, the Iraqi occupation's effects on the Army seem to be encouraging the Bush administration to make use of something originally designed to be symbolic. Bah. Lousy politicians, far too clever for our good. I think I prefer BuzzFlash's draft proposal.

Good heavens. I'm actually discussing politics on my journal. What up with that?

May 21, 2004

Delay

34 day rejection from Talebones yesterday. Would've reported then. But I didn't.

Current Reading: The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century, edited by Mister Alternate History himself.

May 17, 2004

Swords Never Get Tired

ail brings a rare (these days) response: 118 day rejection from Space & Time.

Still considering the photoblog thing. As in, do I set it up elsewhere in this already paid for (but would have to be handcoded) digital space? Or go with a photoblog service with them bells and whistles (but costing, always costing)? Decisions, decisions. Opinions always welcome.

Currently Reading: The War of the Flowers, by Tad Williams.

Recently Seen: Van Helsing, which wasn't as good as it should've been but not as bad as the reviews led me to fear; Gosford Park, which was as good as I expected but not quite as witty; and Kill Bill Vol. I, which spilled enough blood to make me slightly nervous about going to donate platelets Friday. Needles aren't as sharp as katanas, happily. But there is a sushi place next door. Will have to keep an eye out for Sonny Chiba.

May 15, 2004

Picture This

Like some others, I am now fascinated by wordPhoto (view my efforts). I've played on other picture sites before, like the Mirror Project, but this one uses an ever-changing one word theme. Quite the challenge.

There's also another advantage: since taking a person's picture steals their soul, there's less danger with wordPhoto. Mirror Project requires you to take only self-portraits. Sure, it's just a picture of your reflection, and theologians have long known that'll only remove a portion of the soul. I think 10% or so is the official estimate. But let's face it, you can only do that so many times before you haven't got much soul left. Not good, not good.

Currently Reading: The World's Most Incredible Stories: The Best of Fortean Times.

http://www.logicalcreativity.com/cgi/mt.cgi?__mode=view&_type=entry&blog_id=1

May 14, 2004

Miscellaneous Whatnot

Warren Ellis's DiePunyHumans is doing a Fast Fiction Friday: invitation flash fiction by his buddies. Starts here with one by Cory Doctorow.

Nick Mamatas is promoting a charity eBay auction to raise money for the medical bills of Charles Grant.

Jason has pointed out a 1992 article written in Parameters, the US Army War College Quarterly journal, called "The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012."

A terrifying collection of fanboy tattoos, including Star Wars, GI Joe, Transformers, etc.

And this, which is really cool: instant email addresses to baffle spammers and thwart info-miners.

May 12, 2004

"A Big Chicken Squisher"

Here's a scientific development of some interest: what's being described as a "Tornado in a Can." An amusing device, useful for rendering anything dumped inside to parts small enough to challenge the lab monkeys in the local CSI.

When Vortex demonstrated the Windhexe at Polifka's farm a couple of years ago, he entertained a clutch of feature reporters by dumping cookies, diapers and a dead bird into it, all of which emerged as fine powders.
Well, sure. But what kind of cookies were they? Ginger snaps? Oreos? Mallomars?

Recently Read: Nick Mamatas's relentlessly cheerful Northern Gothic.

May 11, 2004

Cause Of And Answer To All Our Problems

Technology is a wonderful thing, isn't it? At the moment I'm here at home, waiting as the DISH guy tries to figure out what's ailing our TV. I thought a satellite had crashed somewhere, but it seems not.

Update: The problem has been located. A wayward bush, or shrub, if you like, getting in the way of things. So the dish is getting relocated to the roof. It'll be happier up there. Nice view, no stray dogs to piddle on it, just chatty birds.

In more positive technology news, I reserved a hotel room for WFC in Phoenix through the hotel's flashtastic online service. Arizona in October. Can't wait.

May 09, 2004

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! And to all you other mothers and mothers-to-be out there as well!

Dad, come back next month. I'm sorry, them's the rules.

May 04, 2004

Tuesday

Gus, posing on the stairs. I'm sure if I asked him nicely he'd make me a time helmet.

Thanks to some slow reference sessions, I have several pages of longhand I need to type up. A poem, a short-short that's complete but needs a slight rewrite for setting, another part for a multi-section story I'm working on, and the opener to another story. I'm reasonably happy with all of them; at least, they don't have the "dead fish" feel that work I end up abandoning develops sooner or later. Perhaps that's the power of longhand, to keep it in play.

Another example of how the future is now: hypersonic messaging.

Reading Matter: Still on the Bova book. Did read a spot of fiction, Dead Until Dark, the southern vampire mystery by Charlaine Harris. Pretty good, but it was kind of slow at the beginning. This is a book with a lot going on: first, there's the murder mystery, which is fine to drive the plot. We set it in amongst small-town folk of Louisiana. Then we add in the "vampires exist and are part of society" a la Laurell K. Hamilton. And then there's what makes this book different from other vamp books: The main character is a telepath. Is she unique? Doesn't say. Does her power come from supernatural causes? Doesn't say. Is its origin ever explained, questioned, or even wondered about? Not that I could tell, aside from "I've always been able to do it" being repeated a few times. So there was a lot to sort out at first, and until the murder mystery started driving the storyline (which took a lot of pages to get going), I kept getting distracted. Not good, since if I'd had to put the book down for some reason, I might not've picked it up again.

May 01, 2004

Beltane

So, how was your pagan holiday? As I predicted, mine was most unexciting. No sign of the Queen of the May at the library. Oh well. Did get to see the cover of the new ish of Flytrap, featuring stories and poems and whatnot by people I know. Oh, and I'm in there too.

For those interested, this month features the Double Comet Show of 2004. Starts with Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) around May 5th and continues with Comet C/2002 T7 (LINEAR) a couple weeks later. Comets are supposed to be harbingers, portents, signs of great change and great events.

Hmm. Think I can use them to invoke mailbox voodoo?

Or would that be overkill?

Reading: Currently Ben Bova's nonfiction Faint Echoes, Distant Stars: The Science and Politics of Finding Life Beyond Earth. More science than politics at this point, but that's ok. Also recently Tau Zero, the hard SF classic.